Monday, November 25, 2013

What Not To Like About The McCann Signing

(Courtesy of the AP)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

If you were away from all forms of media or under the proverbial rock this past weekend, the Yankees and Brian McCann agreed to a 5-year/$85 million deal.  The deal comes with a vesting option that can make it 6 years/$100 million and it's contingent on McCann passing a physical, but there's little reason to think that won't happen.  For all intents and purposes, McCann can be considered the Yankees' new starting catcher.

The reaction to the signing has been most positive thus far.  I know I was a big fan of it.  In McCann, the Yankees got the best player available at their position of greatest weakness in his prime, and they got him for basically market value.  That's not to say the deal is a 100%, no-doubt win for the Yankees.  There are a few things that could turn the signing against the Yanks, things that surely influenced William's decision to steer clear of McCann in his Project 189 team construction before starting to come around to the idea of McCann at catcher yesterday.  In the interest of looking at this deal from all angles, here are the things that could potentially turn it into a loser for the Yankees down the road.

Cue Beltran Watch 2013

Via Mark Feinsand:

"According to sources, the Yankees have set Beltran as their No. 1 target while they wait to reignite talks with Robinson Cano, for Hiroki Kuroda to decide whether he wants to return next season and for the Japanese posting system to be hammered out so righthander Masahiro Tanaka can be made available... 

Likewise, Beltran has let it be known to those around him that the Yankees are his top choice, hoping to finally land himself in pinstripes after previous free-agent flirtations during the past decade did not work out."

Sorry, Tanaka Watch.  You just got dropkicked to the back burner (probably a safety hazard BTW) by Beltran Watch.  With McCann all but locked up, the Yankees are moving onto the next name on their list and this report makes it sound like that name is Beltran's, written in all caps with one of those really thick Sharpies.

Do I prefer him to Choo?  No I do not.  Do I think he'd be a great signing on a 2-year deal to bump Ichiro to the bench where he belongs?  I absolutely do.  Sounds like the number of years is the hold up right now, but if the Yanks don't cave to a 3rd and get Beltran for 2/$30 mil, that's another win for them.

Don't Be Fooled Into Thinking C-Grand Really Is A "Serious Part" Of The Yankees' Plans

(Say goodbye to the Grandyman, kids.  He ain't coming back)

With the focus now shifting from behind the plate to the void at second base and need to upgrade the outfield, Cash attempted to keep all options open when he commented on the team's interest in Curtis Granderson last week.  Speaking to George King of The Post, Cash said C-Grand is a "serious part" of the Yankees' plans to address the outfield and is "not a fall-back option."

While that all sounds good at face value, the club's actions don't match up to the words.  If Granderson is such a serious part of what the Yankees want to do to upgrade their outfield, why was it such a hard decision to make him a qualifying offer earlier this month?  Why was the front office still debating whether to make the offer or not in the final hours leading up to the deadline?  It's not like the level of production that Granderson had in his last 2 non-injury years weren't worthy of the offer.  It's not like he's not on almost equal ground with the Beltrans and Choos of the world when it comes to new contract value.  If he's such a big part, why didn't the team extend the qualifying offer and immediate engage him in talks of a new multi-year deal like they did with Cano?

Anybody Want This Beat Up Matt Kemp?

The Yankees might.  They've been connected to virtually every other big name available on the free agent market or potentially available via trade this offseason, so it comes as no surprise that they were among the list of teams to reach out to the Dodgers to ask about Matt Kemp's availability, this according to Nick Cafardo.

Kemp, 29, is only 2 seasons removed from being one of, if not the best all-around player in baseball.  He's spent the better part of the last 2 years under the knife and on the disabled list thanks to injuries to his hamstring, ankle, and shoulder.  When healthy, he's a legit 5-tool guy, evidenced by his 8.4 fWAR season in 2011.  The problem is that he hasn't been able to stay healthy and the racking up of injuries and surgeries while he's in what is supposed to be his physical prime doesn't spell good things for the future.

There's also the matter of his contract.  Kemp is owed $128 million over the next 6 seasons, which is a lot of money to take on for a guy who's missed 145 games over the last 2 years, luxury tax avoidance goals or no luxury tax avoidance goals.  He'd be an easy on-field upgrade over Ichiro if he can stay healthy, but that unsteady ship, the dollars, and the Yankees' lack of Major League-ready trade chips makes it a very steep uphill battle.  I'd really only be interested if the Dodgers were willing to eat a lot of the money and I have to imagine that's a thought that Cash and the rest of the front office share.